Indian Air Force to rope in UAV's for surveillance in Maoist-infested areas

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Kolkata, Dec 15(ANI): The Indian Air Force on Tuesday said that it is planning to rope in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to conduct surveillance in Maoist-infested areas of the country.

Addressing the media in Kolkata, Air Marshal S.K. Bhan, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command, said: "We are getting UAVs, as well. I think, right now, there is one operating in the sector and we are getting more. You see, in the induction plans of Indian Air Force, the additional UAV units are going to be raised and some have to come into the sector."

Bhan further said that these remotely-piloted vehicles would be best for tracking down the Maoists.

"The purpose of UAV is primarily to be able to do surveillance, to do electronic intelligence about communication, and signal intelligence, and it also has the capability to designate. That means if designated from the air, the aircraft can come and put its weapon on the target, which has laser capability. So, two things happen: one is that it becomes easier for the attacking aircraft, and secondly it becomes much more accurate," Bhan added.

Maoists have stepped up violence in Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal, which are among the most affected states of the country.

They have attacked schools and police stations, and used landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to disrupt infrastructure development projects.

They have also hijacked passenger trains including the Rajdhani Express, beheaded policemen and suspected informers and attacked employees of mining companies.

The main objective of the Maoists is to prevent the development of infrastructure in remote areas, which so far has remained their exclusive domain.

The rebels claim they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, and have ignored repeated calls to renounce violence and negotiate and have stepped up their attacks in recent past months, prompting the Government to go after them in a concerted strike. (ANI)

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